Montessori Method

Discussion in 'Montessori Archives' started by Guest, Apr 2, 2002.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Apr 2, 2002

    Is the difference between Montessori and Traditional schools worth sending my child to the Montessori school?
     
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  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Apr 5, 2002

    It all depends what your philosophy is. Traditional Preschool programs are nothing like Montessori Programs - I have worked in both and prefer Traditional Pre-K.
    Montessori teaches children "life skills" ie: cleaning, washing dishes, counting, alphabet - there is a purpose for everything they do. You will not find dolls to dress up or an area for children to dress-up, there are no Lego's or childrens paintings on the walls - ever. At least they never had any in the Center I worked in. Imagination and pretending are not high on the list for true Montessori schools. An example of how they develop fine motor skills (fingers) is: on the shelves there are small glass bowls filled with rice, beans, etc, a small spoon and an empty bowl all on a tray - the children are instructed on the proper use of these materials - we would not speak to the child about how to do it, we would have to just "model" the technique silently. And if they do it wrong we get our own tray and sit quietly and do what was to be done and then hope they "get it". Anyway.... During free play time the children (3 and 4 years old) would take these trays from the shelf and scoop the rice from the full to the empty bowl. They were not allowed to use their fingers - (which seemed really stupid to me because that was more of a fine motor task than using the spoon)- once the second bowl was full then they would be done - in my opinion - BORING
    There is not a lot of child/adult interaction because the children are expected to direct themselves. Traditional Pre-K is, in my opinion so much more warm and accepting of childrens ideas especially a quality center (one that is accredited by NAEYC). Traditional Pre-K believes these little people have only been on this Earth 3 or 4 years - they have a lifetime to learn how to do the dishes properly - let them pretend and stretch their imaginations while they are young - let them use Legos, dressup clothes, trucks and cars, playdoh, finger paints, let them pretend to be whatever they want to be - you can still teach life lessons about cleaning up when you are done playing and teach fine motor skills by stringing beads, using pegboards, Lego's. When done properly you can also indirectly teach letters and numbers with out making it seem like a public school lesson. Traditional Preschool bekieves children learn through play - they learn social skills, cognitive skills, and gross and fine motor skills - Play IS a young childs work
     
  4. AJK

    AJK Pre-k Montessori Teacher

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    Apr 13, 2002

    LOL!
    I guess this is the post Jane's "Oh my gosh!" was in response too. I can't help but agree with her! True, Montessori is not for everyone, but that description is more than a little off. I'm a very dedicated Montessori teacher but I happily worked as an assistant in a traditional pre-k while in college. I'd be happy to explain the difference between the two teaching styles to anyone who is interested. Please please please don't judge Montessori education but the other response to this post :) Seriously, e-mail me at PrekMontessori@aol.com and I'll answer any questions you have. Thank You!
     
  5. p-chan

    p-chan New Member

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    Mar 16, 2005

    Montessori way is not good for most young children in general.
     
  6. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Mar 16, 2005

    Why do you think that it is not good for most children in general? I agree with AJK about not pre-judging the method based on other responses. A lot of people will judge before looking into it and everyone will have their own opinions. Montessori or not, nothing is made to tailor everyone's needs. I have been a traditional pre-K teacher for about 6 years and have recently found the Montessori education facinating. I have recently chose to do many of the Montessori methods in my own home preschool because of the facination my kids find with practical life skills. They love to clean and do many of the things Montessori educators do in their classrooms. I have tried many things so far and have found a lot of success. I still have dolls and legos, but I have found a way to compromise between the two. I am not a "true" Montessori teacher, but I am willing to stick up for those who are because of the knowledge that the children gain from the experiences they are given. I wouldn't make your opinion until you have gotten all the facts. Schools are all different, just like different cultures, one is no more right than the other, they are just different.
     
  7. lv2reed

    lv2reed New Member

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    Mar 16, 2005

    Ill-informed

    What you are about to read is one persons ill-informed opinion. Research the Montessori philosophy and you will discover an emphasis on learning from within, as opposed to external motivation (and the need to please others). You will find a emphasis on independence and interdependence. You will find that Montessori's goal is to develop the whole personality of the child, and the system is based on a strong belief in the spontaneous working of the human intellect. The three primary principles are observation, individual liberty, and preparation of the environment. The items found on the shelves in the classroom are "materials" rather than "toys." The children "work with the materials" rather than "play with the toys." This allows the children to gain the most benefit from the environment by giving them a sense of worth - the same sense of worth adults experience as they go to their jobs and do their "work". How often do you see a preschool full of carelessly thrown and discarded 'toys'. THe children are bored. They are not sufficiently challenged. And there are opportunities to draw, paint, sing, dance and play. It is just more structured than tradiitonal preschools. Montessori environments foster the fulfillment of childrens highest potential - spiritual, emotional, physical, and intellectual - as members of a family, the world community and the Cosmos. Yes, there are no 'legos.' In their place are traditional building blocks, counting rods, and other more engaging and intellectually stimulating materials. As far as the scooping of items into bowls, obviously the pincher grasp and "using your fingers" is a small motor skill. A child works their way up to the pincher grasp by learning larger motor skills, such as a spoon, a tweezer, an eyedropper, etc. The child/adult interaction is actually higher in a Montessori setting. Students get precious (nonexistent in traditonal classes) one-on-one teacher time. Each student works at their own level and gets indivual lessons from the teacher. As far as doing the dishes -yes, children are taught to clean up after themselves, and pour water/milk from pitchers into cups to enhance gross motor skills- not to learn how to clean house.
    People should refrain from commenting on philosophies they have not studied. It sounds as if this person visited a Montessori classroom once and formed and uneducated opinion.

     
  8. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Mar 16, 2005

    This thread is almost 3 years old... I'm closing and transferring to the archives where it should have been. :)
     

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